Evidence to Action for Strengthened Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services for Women and Girls
Evidence to Action for Strengthened Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services for Women and Girls (E2A) (2011-2016) is the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s global flagship project for scaling up effective, evidence-based family planning and reproductive health practices.
The project aims to strengthen sustainable approaches for improved family planning and reproductive health service delivery, and to ensure that women and girls have access to quality services through all stages of the reproductive lifecycle. In order to accomplish these goals, E2A increases support, builds evidence, and facilitates the scale-up of best practices that improve family planning services.
E2A also works with public and private organizations on health education, maternal, newborn, and child health care, and HIV prevention, care, and treatment. MSH is a partner on this five-year project, which is led by Pathfinder International.
The project’s three core mandates are:
1. Strengthen service delivery by increasing global support for family planning and reproductive health best practices.
2. Synthesize and disseminate knowledge about these best practices.
3. Apply and scale up these best practices.
E2A follows through on these mandates by focusing on youth-related activities, increasing contraceptive method choice, and systematically scaling up proven family planning and reproductive health practices. Through E2A, MSH helps communities in many countries gain better access to family planning and reproductive health services.
MSH works with Cameroon’s ministry of health to support the introduction of postpartum family planning services in six hospitals. The project aims to: integrate high-quality information and services in the postpartum period and during antenatal care, build the capacity of service providers in offering family planning counseling and services — including long-acting contraceptives, increase demand and supply for family planning and reproductive health services in facilities and communities through high-quality service, and document the process and results of the intervention to support scaling up and policy change as needed.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
E2A implements a two-year community-based family planning program in three provinces to strengthen the delivery of integrated health services.
The project partners with the government of DRC at all levels and with the host communities to use existing systems, plans, and partnerships to deliver scalable community-based family planning, and maternal and child health services. This is accomplished through capacity-building, promoting joint accountability, revitalizing supervision systems, and engineering innovative technology to enhance the health system’s efficiency and effectiveness.
The project works closely with MSH’s Integrated Health Project, assuring collaboration between USAID-funded projects for optimal impact. The project aims to expand quality family planning and maternal and child health services, increase awareness and demand for family planning services in targeted communities, increase community mobilization around gender equality and male involvement in family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health, and support the provincial health and health zone platforms in USAID-supported areas.
USAID/DRC/IHPplus is implemented by MSH and Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd under a subcontract via the E2A project. IHPplus is a 13-month “bridge,” developed to avoid a gap in services in USAID-supported health zones upon completion of the Integrated Health Project (IHP). IHPplus aims to improve the basic health conditions of the Congolese people in 83 target health zones in four provinces.
The project has two major components: direct support for service delivery, and health systems strengthening activities. Support for service delivery includes increased use of high-impact family planning, maternal, newborn, and child health, nutrition, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services and products. Health systems strengthening activities include improved implementation of selected policies, program advocacy, and decision-making, particularly at the provincial level.
E2A directly assists the government of Ethiopia’s national fistula elimination plan, which intensifies efforts to identify, repair, and rehabilitate women with obstetric fistula across 291 districts. With technical guidance from MSH, E2A builds the organizational capacity of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, an organization that runs the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, its regional centers, the Hamlin College of Midwives, and the Desta Mender rehabilitation center for fistula patients.
E2A has partnered with the USAID-funded STRIDES for Family Health project to implement an improvement collaborative — a systematic approach for introducing and scaling up best practices. The improvement collaborative has been implemented at 46 hospitals and health facilities in 10 districts, resulting in improved quality of obstetric and newborn care and immediate postpartum family planning counseling at the facilities.
E2A and STRIDES, with assistance from Makerere University, has also introduced a second improvement collaborative, which has formed community-based quality-improvement teams to generate demand and increase the use of postpartum family planning services, inform the future scale-up of these services in Uganda, and address several challenges to family planning service delivery. In five months, four community quality-improvement teams reached 2,602 women with family planning counseling, and more than half of women counseled were eligible for postpartum family planning services.